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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 3544 ..

Oakey Hill trees

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Mr Stanhope. Minister, the Canberra Times of 21 September reported that an officer of Environment ACT told Lyons residents that the 300-odd trees that were to be felled on Oakey Hill would be chipped on site and taken away to Tumut to power the paper mill.

In the supplementary estimates hearings earlier this month the chief executive of Urban Services, in answer to questions about ACT forest clearing, said:

A limited amount of the wood ... is going off as woodchip being taken by Visy and being used as boiler fuel at Tumut.

He went on to say:

... the only viable market, if you like, is for boiler fuel and even that ... seemed to be at a net cost to us. It's a large cartage distance across to Tumut so the end of that is generally a net cost to the ACT rather than a positive revenue.

Minister, will Visy buy the chips?

MR STANHOPE: I understand that Environment ACT has entered into negotiations with the mill on the disposal of the trees. I am not aware that those negotiations have been concluded, but I understand negotiations were initiated and are taking place.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question. Why is the government entering into negotiations for a measure which, by its own account, will be at a net cost to ACT revenue? Have you considered other end uses for the wood?

MR STANHOPE: I will take the question on notice.

Territory information

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. On Tuesday, 9 September thieves broke into Eclipse House and stole a laptop computer belonging to the director of ACT Corrective Services. Despite this obvious breach, Mr Quinlan, the Acting Chief Minister at the time, claimed in the Canberra Times of 13 September that territory government information is "pretty damn secure". That appeared on page 1. However, the director of ACT Corrective Services said in the same report that "access has been gained, and has been gained before, far too easily". Why did Mr Quinlan claim that territory government information was pretty damn secure when thieves are able to gain access to sensitive areas far too easily?

MR STANHOPE: I am not aware of the context in which the comments were made by the Acting Chief Minister. In a conversation I had on this matter this morning, Mr Quinlan made the point that there was no information on the hardware as such on the computer. Whilst the hardware was stolen in that burglary, the thieves did not gain access to any files or information.

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